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The End Of History
'The End Of History' is the debut album for Irish singer-songwriter Fionn Regan - and what a debut it is. Over twelve tracks Regan weaves an almost hypnotic mood of pessimism, forlornness and just a tinge of light and hope. It's certainly not the most positive, uplifting or cheerful album in recent memory, but it is one of the most heartbreakingly honest and beautiful. "At night time I'd live in Beckenham Park/With tears like flashbulbs/And recall my treasure searching days in the rock-pools as a kid," he sings in Put A Penny In The Slot, strumming his guitar softly, backed by only the most minimal instrumentation through the song's bridge. This is the case right throughout the album, as Regan's voice takes the lead, with the odd violin, backing vocal or patter of drums creeping in and out of the songs in a way that seems almost organic. Regan's roots are clearly in folk, but his ability to twist pop melody into his songs without it losing any of its emotional impact, or sounding trite, is impressive. Even the album's nadir, Hey Spider, in which Regan's lyrics take a slight turn for the pedestrian in an animal referencing three-and-a-half minutes, is still affecting and listenable. Snowy Atlas Mountains is where Regan really finds his style, though - a winding tale that shows his ability for storytelling and phrasing, doing so with a haunting and eerily tangible sense of threat in his Irish accent. 'The End Of History' is an enormously confident and assured debut and with good reason; Regan is an immense talent and this album suggests that there's plenty more to come from him in the future. And if 'The End Of History' is any guide, that sounds like a very welcome prospect. -Alistair Wallis
Imagine a whimsical, sunnier Nick Drake. Or perhaps a young Donovan for the 21st century. With his lithe, limber, and conversational tenor complemented by the subtle virtuosity of his acoustic guitar, the Dublin troubadour sustains an engaging intimacy even when his material seems on the slight side (more precocious than profound). Though his childlike innocence extends to the hand-lettered lyrics in the CD booklet, he invokes the literary influence of Saul Bellow and Paul Auster on "Put a Penny in the Slot." Much of this self-produced release finds Regan playing solo (often with double-tracked harmonies), with the spare employment of strings, piano, and percussion making their use all the more striking. An unlisted bonus cut seems to channel the range of Jeff Buckley. --Don McLeeseSee all Editorial Reviews
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Song wise I have no complaints and I love every song on the album, especially abacus
My only gripe is that it's not a standard size record. My record player needs to be manually started with this record due to it's smaller size. I feel like if they went with the standard 12 inch they could have fit it all on one record rather than two 10 inch records.
(Side note, The copy I got was a 2xLP with 10" vinyls, not sure if every copy is like that, but if you wanna keep it safe you might want to look into getting an appropriately sized jacket sleeve.)
This album is filled to the brim with gorgeous -- yet simple-- guitar work, with the occasional drum/piano piece. It also helps that Fionn's vocals are beautiful yet somewhat exotic (he IS irish after all,) and pleasant to the ears.
The lyrics are relatively clever, and surprisngly deep in some parts.
now to review each track individually~
1) Be Good Or Be Gone - a great, acoustic piece. This may be my favorite track.
2) The Underwood Typewriter - Another great song. Somewhat light, which is a nice contrast against the next song,
3) Hunters Map - Somewhat dark. This is the first time you'll hear some drum (and it's placed in such a brilliant place, allowing a sort of musical breath inbetween lyrics.) Another great song.
4) Hey Rabbit- I didn't really like this song on first, but it grew on me. But after a few listens, I understood the lyrics. Clever!
5) Blackwater Child- This song is very catchy. His voice is accompanied by another (though, i can't place who it is,) but the slight backup sounds great.
6) Put A Penny In The Slot - This is the song that made me like Fionn Regan. The nice lyrics, with the simple, light guitar made me smile.
7) The Cowshed - starts off kind of dark and slow, with a base drum (i think) and slowly picks up speed. Slowly. It never goes past a certain speed, so this is a nice slower track.
8) Snowy Atlas Mountains - This song is about lonliness. This song has the most "effects" in my opinion, with various noises throughout the song.
9) Noah (Ghost In A Sheet) - This song is great! The whole sound is great, and his voice just sounds amazing. Which is a standard for this whole album
10) The End Of History - This is my least favorite song. Mainly because it just seems to DRAG on forever...when it really doesn't. That's reserved for the final track.
11) Abacus - This is another one of the songs that made me like Fionn Regan's work. I heard the EP version first, and this sounds relatively close to it.
12) This is the longest track. It's good, but it DOES NOT want to end. Not that it's bad. The song (singing) ends relatively early, but we're left with a piercing Piano with Fionn's guitarwork for about 6 minutes after.
This is an EXCELLENT album for any fan of Acoustic/Folk music in general. Import it!
it was sheer luck that i did get a chance to listen to this one. a friend picked it up in europe and shared it with me. i've been reading reviews where fionn has been compared with nick drake, even donovan... i'm most reminded of pete atkin when i listen to this album, a great one...and i hope will eventually become a truly great one
if you like damien rice, blah blah blahhhhh...stop it. fionn regan is not damien rice. just in case that weren't clear, fionn has attached his initials in various species of tape to the wares he carries on stage, including three guitars, guitar case and hanky.
not that fionn doesn't beat his breast and tear his hair in his own irish way. he runs laps in the rainy day, sexually charged melancholia of mr. rice, but doesn't stay there for long. instead of a cynical and almost fatalistic anger, fionn emerges far more intact...he invites you into a bittersweet wanderlust and you want to join him ever so badly. in the end, this is the currency of young heartbreak--romantic or otherwise. he delivers, if not innovation, a stiff upper lipped laugh into the night that makes me want to laugh too, hardscrabble days be damned.
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I collect LP's , so I purchased this to collect.
I have heard some on the radio....XPN in Phili.Read more